Beans, beans, good for your heart ...
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
ARE BEANS REALLY THAT GOOD FOR US? ... its just an old saying, right?
See RECIPE for Jacques' Bean Burgers at the bottom.
Chickpeas with onion, tomato & olive oil ... just try it.
Recently, I received a email from my good friend, Eddy.
"I bought a bunch of beans just before COVID landed.
Would you kindly suggest recipes
-Split shelled Matpe beans.
-Black soy beans
-Brown chick peas (tried hummus)
-Green soy beans
-Whole black Matpe beans.
I’ve done hummus, re-fried, and a number of online recipes.
Not all that satisfactorily.
...what I’m looking for are recipes you may have tried.
Something with the Brennan touch!"
I liked that last comment, not out of vanity, though always nice to see your name used in that way. But what really brought a smile to my face was that he understood how I cook.
Cooking should not be complicated and from simplicity comes taste. Best of all, we are more inclined to cook when there are fewer ingredients and the instructions are easy to follow.
Many people may have stockpiled food prior to 'The Lockdown' and then found that all shops were open and that supplies were easy to obtain. But these uncooked beans are still there and need to be used, should be used. Not used to cooking them, it can take a little work and that can mean they are left in the cupboard.
" I have a wack of beans...
Be a shame to let them get too old."
Are beans really good for the heart?
Yes, they are, in fact eating beans;
Lowers LDL ( bad ) cholesterol levels
Eating beans regularly significantly lowers the levels of cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is what lodge in linings of your arteries and over time builds up and reduce the flow of blood to your heart and other important organs.
Reduced hypertension - high blood pressure
Beans which help keep the levels of cholesterol down in your blood has the added benefit of keeping those arteries clear. Blocked arteries, narrowing of the blood vessels means the heart has to work twice as hard to get the blood to your vital organs ... causing high blood pressure. When we have high blood pressure it is the forewarning that heart problems are developing.
Reduce inflammation of the gut
If you make beans your principle source of protein and staple, a food high in fibre, you will have reduced inflammation in your digestive system. Inflammation in our gut and other parts of the body is the beginning of many of the chronic diseases we see today.
Beans or legumes contain;
( legumes - beans, lentils & peas )
a lot of protein,
good complex carbohydrates,
many important anti-oxidants and minerals.
... and beans have no saturated fat or cholesterol!
A great resource for health and nutrition, ( apart for HungrySoulPlantPower of course ) is https://www.pcrm.org/ or Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine... look them up.
Back to Eddy's question
So what do do with all those beans ... recipes with that Brennan touch.
What to do with a stock of beans?
Matpe beans are lentils, some split, Chickpeas most of us know, even Soya beans, though I might guess few have eaten soya in their natural 'bean' state.
One of the best things to do with a pile of beans is the cook and freeze them. Beans can take some time to cook, hours if you do not have a pressure cooker and there is often the need to soak them overnight.
Eddy, happen to mention that he has a good size freezer.
When I cook a lot of beans I freeze portions, 2 cup portions which is often what is needed to make a dish. When you have a stock ready, frozen, it gives you more reason to cook dishes with them.
Interested to cook them yourself? have a look in the Hungry Soul cookbook, click here.
Here are some of the suggestions I made;
- recipes available soon on the website, except the last one - Bean Burgers, included here below, scroll down for it.
Split Matpe Beans / Lentils ( Urad Dahl )
For the split shelled Matpe Beans, split lentils ( Urad Dahl ), I suggested a Dahl which is the popular dish made with them and Pakoras . Dahl is a staple food in much of India and in our home. Rarely a week goes by without a big pot of dahl appearing on the stove or should I say disappearing... every one likes dahl!
Pakoras are great fun and if you make them for guests they will love them, you will never have enough! Serve with a little yogurt ( vegan of course ) with a little grated cucumber and some finely chopped mint.
Black Soya Beans
For the Black Soya Beans I recommended a Chilli. Chilli can be made with most beans, you just need the right spices and your beans to be well cooked.
If you have concerns regarding eating soya beans have a look here.
For Chickpeas one of my favourite bean or rather pea, I can think of so many dishes. These mild tasting, creamy legumes lend themselves to any type of sauces, can be made into dips, spread or salads. I recommended Ajit Singh's chickpea snack, Chickpeas de Belem and and a chickpea salad.
Green Soya Beans
For the green Soya beans, ones I have never cooked before but found an interesting recipe online and tweaked it a bit, a dry bean curry.
Black Matpe Beans ( whole Urad lentils )
For the black beans I recommended a Bean Burger, scroll down for recipe. Burgers or patties can be made from lentils or beans or peas, even rice or other grains. Dark beans or lentils give a strong taste which is what I like.
Bean Burger or Patti
with whole black Matpe beans / Urad Dahl whole lentils
JACQUES’ BEAN BURGERS – Using whole Urad Dahl this time
Bean burgers can be made with any bean or lentil. Each gives the burger a little different taste.
Makes approx. 10 + burgers
2 cup dry Whole Black Matpe / Urad Lentils
1 tsp chilli flakes ( more if you like a little spice )
1 onion – finely chopped
1 green pepper – finely chopped
½ to 1 cup of oats – blended to flour ( oats are binders, to keep it all together )
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 small fresh beetroot – graded ( optional )
1 small sweet potato - graded ( optional )
A nice pinch or two of salt
Soak Urad dahl / lentils for ½ to 1 hour
Drain then cook in pressure cooker or on stove.
Once cooked, drain and mash the beans with fork or masher
Mix in all the other ingredients.
Form into patties and refrigerate for ½ hour.
Fry each side in an oiled pan until brown.
Serve in with a burger bun and all the condiments – vegan mayo ( see Hungry Soul Cookbook ), Ketchup, mustard, tomato slices, cornichons, vegan cheese, layers of lettuce …and a side order of home fries.
Make this when you have a group over, good friends or family. Everyone makes it the way they like! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPOINTED!
You can also serve them on a plate with potatoes or rice and a few greens and big salad.
Feedback After Posting ...
Loved the burger recipe - I made the burgers, they are the best vegan burgers I have made. I find too many vegan burger recipes a bit fiddly...I liked the robust flavour and that they held together well and were relatively easy to make. :)
I was not disappointed.
Sarah 22 July 2020